View Full Version : to define steampunk
05-03-2011, 08:19 PM
*warning; i only intend opinion/debate and clarification, i may come off as elitist but im not*
i know what steampunk is... but what really qualifies something to be "steampunk"
i mean, if you just google shop for steampunk, you get stuff like "steampunk shoes"
which are just plain black womens ankle boots w/ a sproket stuck to it somwhere,
or image search and you get cell phone mods where its just painted copper/brass and has some wire and mechanical/electrical bits tacked on
granted some of the cell mods, and other steampunk stuff is pretty awesome,
IMO, you shouldnt be able to just paint something brass, stick some wire on it and call it steampunk
to me, when i hear the term steampunk, i think functional "clockwork" addons,
unique light fixtures, Da Vinci's workshop looking stuff,
so my main argument is that before calling something steampunk, that the effort needs to be made to make what ever it is, functional
im not saying you need to turn your boots into cuckoo clocks, but that the cool device on your wrist should do more than tell time
in short, non mechanically functioning boots/coat/gloves ect. are not as much steampunk
as it is, simply apropiate attire
auto-kleet boots, HUD goggles and disorientor gaunlet are
05-03-2011, 08:41 PM
If I were to define it, I would say
Stempunk is an idea of a technology that leans more towards mechanics and incorporates Victorian themes into its design and fashion.
If were talking about fashion then id have to say as long as it stays true to aesthetics then It doesn't really matter if it functions.
I totally get what your saying though, it always gives props a little something extra if they function, or have a reason to be there.
05-04-2011, 09:03 AM
In a similar degree, I don't think it really "steampunk" to just add gears and cogs to clothing. It would be more "steampunk," I would think, by having the gears and cogs belong in some sort of mechanism. Doesn't necessarily have to work, but just look as though it would work.
Just my two bits.
05-04-2011, 02:00 PM
Last year, the good folks of Brass Goggles hosted a multi-month debate with the goal of answering, more or less, the question of "What is steampunk?"
I give you the link here: http://www.greatsteampunkdebate.com/forum/
I invite you to start in the "Conclusions" section, because there's really rather a lot of material. Something you'll probably note right away, however, is that functionality is nowhere near a universal standard of steampunkitude. It's not even a defining characteristic according to a lot of people who prefer a more philosophy- or literary- or fashion-based set of criteria.
Honestly, I don't know if the question ever really was answered to anyone's satisfaction. Which is fine, because it means that something's steampunkness really IS up to you and your personal taste. Applying one's personal taste with great force to an array of consumer goods is the closest thing I know of to a universal steampunk trait. :D
05-04-2011, 02:06 PM
You have a fairly good idea, but due to certain thing's it would be very difficult to create such cloths that include moving gears and such, if you wiki (wikipedia.com) "Steampunk" you will find that it mainly is more of a neo-victorian and or cyberpunk, type of clothing originally steampunk was made in the idea of what people thought the future would be like a kind of "Gearwork,Clock style, furture" i mean i think personally the idea's steampunk incorporates is simple amazing and would be amazing in real life, back to as i was gonna say though steampunk does not have to have all moving thing's ( though it would be very interesting) its actually the workers theme not the gears style itself, i being someone just learning of steampunk better think of it as the worker's who fix the gears and such so ide say the basic color theme and such stuff to go with it would probably be some brown, golden, such colors like that also for a interesting idea for you who know of the game "assassins creed brotherhood" there happens to be a character who wears a similar style to the steampunk style. ( i may be wrong on some things, due to being new at this im probably gonna go in steampunk to the Ohayocon 2012, cant wait but later in the year or the start of next year ill probably have pictures of my steampunk outfit im gonna wear :) ok feel free to talk to me on here or mail me.
05-05-2011, 02:37 AM
thanx for the great link mangochutney
i think i should start this by saying, its never a good idea to "define" something that is viewed as a culture,
first and foremost
there seems to be a bias between steampunk as a "lifestyle/culture"
and steampunk as an art or theme
after reading a bit, i have come to realize i was looking at only a very minuscule aspect of steampunk, that being, the technology, which when you look deeper into,
really isnt the main focus (which is where the controversy seems to be)
after looking at the "bigger picture" of steampunk, imo, the true focus of steampunk is more philosophical than technological, though the most prominent visual feature is the tech, and that is easier to adhere to than a philosophy which in general are open to interpretation
however i do think i can safely state the following as a overall consensus covering steampunk as a whole
(in no certain order)
1. a belief that aesthetics should not give way to utility (whether beauty or intentional whimsy or grotesqueness)
2. reuseability and maintainability
3. the belief of creativity and technology (mainly engineering) in terms of paving the road to the future
but a general interest in some aspect of engineering whether in creation, function or visual appeal is rather common but not as vital as some would like to argue
though this new opinion doesnt change my view that steampunk "gadgets" should at the very least appear functional (meaning actually work) even if its only purpose is visual appeal
05-31-2011, 02:27 PM
I've always viewed something "steampunk" as something created from a world that's main energy source was steam and combustion like engines. While the gears add a lot to an object to show how the energy is being used it's not necessarily showing how the object was getting the energy. In today's modern world we use electricity as our main source of energy (which is hard to show being generated without streaks of current flying though the air), but in the "steampunk" world a steam pipe for exhaust show's that quite well, and the victorian style theme adds to the object/outfit since it was during that time in our history that the steam powered engines where at their highest potential to date.
07-07-2011, 10:05 PM
I've always viewed something "steampunk" as something created from a world that's main energy source was steam and combustion like engines. While the gears add a lot to an object to show how the energy is being used it's not necessarily showing how the object was getting the energy. In today's modern world we use electricity as our main source of energy (which is hard to show being generated without streaks of current flying though the air), but in the "steampunk" world a steam pipe for exhaust show's that quite well, and the victorian style theme adds to the object/outfit since it was during that time in our history that the steam powered engines where at their highest potential to date. This